I confess, I am a DIE-A-HOLIC!!!! I am lovin' life when I can use a DIE to cut around my stamp image instead of the teeeny tiiiiny pooooointy scissors! ..and I am a GOOOD little cutter too! But my time is valuable, so to save time by using a die? PRICELESS!
Now, there are MANY kinds of dies. I have a Big Shot and a Cuttlebug (fondly known as Mr. Cuttle), and own dies ranging from the Sizzix BIGZ XL to the smallest Sizzlits. Then I discovered Papertrey Ink, and my die collection went KEEE-RAZY! Papertrey dies are shallow steel plates with a very thin and shallow cutting edge. They are wonderful - and the PTI design team comes up with tons of inspiring ideas on how to use them.
Here is a sample of a few PTI Doily dies and the resulting paper This is a vellum scrap that I had tried to cut with a new sizzlet die, which did not cut at ALL, so I tried this die and voila'! ze perfect doily!
These 2 are also Papertrey, and with some shimmer paper - a perfect cut!
This amazing heart is Memory Box - the tiny cuts in red glimmer paper are so intricate! All of these dies have tiny holes that you can poke through to push paper bits out if they get stuck in the die. This is a real time saver, too. The Papertray doily with the pink paper even has a companion die to push the little bits out of the paper part. This is a well-thought-out option, I tell you! Maybe poking 100 or so tiny bits out with your dental pick is no big deal, but after you have done it once, I say you are an expert and can move on to the quickie method, especially if you are making several of these at a time.
The only disadvantage to these dies, is that you are limited to thinner things to cut out. You can cut paper, fabric and felt with these, but chipboard is out.